Posts Tagged ‘self-control’

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Colossians 3:15-17

Faces_of_Christ[1]In One Body

Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

In this modern age we often discuss being in or out of control.  We struggle with understanding how much our genetics govern our behavior; we conduct studies and gather research about parenting and how to best nurture the human spirit.

God says: I have come to dwell among you in the form of the man, Jesus.  I live in you and you live in me. When you spend time with me – truly spend time – you come to know me better with each minute and hour.  When you dialog with me – truly dialog – you grow in wisdom. Dwell in me richly that your hands and feet and lips and mind and heart move and act in me.  Admonish one another lovingly.  Give thanks continually.  And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father.

Through human history we see that humankind prefers to be in control and we like to think that we govern our own destiny or at least have a hand in forming our circumstances.  We are most comfortable when we dictate conditions to others.  We are also content to follow blindly if questioning our goal and means makes us a bit too uncomfortable.  When we are in one body with Christ the conflicts and struggles that surround us resolve themselves well and sometimes easily.  When we live and act in one accord with Christ our petty differences and obstacles disappear as if they never existed.  When we give thanks to God through Christ in all we are and do, our need to control everyone and everything will cease.

Enter the words Mystical Body in the blog search bar, choose a reflection, and spend some time in a dialog with God.

Image from: http://blog.adw.org/2011/01/what-is-the-church/

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

1-heart-on-fire[1]Psalm 90:12

Wisdom of Heart

Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. 

Why do we seek wisdom?  Is it so that we might better control ourselves and others in order to number our days?  Is it so that we might keep ourselves safe from all disaster and above all turmoil?  Do we seek wisdom in order to better rely on ourselves and less on God?

God says: There really is nothing to fear.  When life is going well for you  and you want it to go on forever it is I who endow you with gifts.  When crises loom and your life feels over-long, I buoy you up and lift you above the fray.  I do not leave you to survive on your own although I know that this is how you feel.  Trust in me.  Believe in me.  Live in me.  I want to be with you always.  And I want to share with you the eternal wisdom of my heart.   

We want to be self-controlling and self-fulfilling.  We believe that we carry the weight of the world.  We spend our years searching for panacea and surety.  Yet God alone saves.  God alone is enough.

Enter the word Wisdom into the blog search bar and explore how God brings us Wisdom of Heart. 

from: http://zoeyryanthoughts.com/tag/women-and-power/

To read different translations of this verse, click on the citation above or go to: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2090:12&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

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Easter Sunday, April 12, 2013

1 Peter 1

lambs[1]The Gift and Call of God

As we celebrate this holiest of days, we continue with our Easter reflections from 2013. Today much of the world is locked in battle with a virus we cannot see with our eyes or hear with our ears. Just as the Israelites hunkered down to await the passing of the death that struck down the first born, so too do we wait in God’s presence and hope. Just as heroes in each time of calamity rise to erect and defend barricades against annihilating enemies, so too do our heroes drive through fear in God’s promise and call. Today we remember that promise and call of so many Easters passed. We remember the peace of so many Easter miracles. We remember the healing that always arrives after catastrophe. 

We have witnessed the miracle of Easter. We have seen the risen Lord.  We have accompanied the disciples as they watch and await the call to kingdom building.  We have witnessed the return and redemption of the apostle Peter.  Today and tomorrow we reflect on the gift and call of God – love freely given, Word openly amidst us.  We turn to the opening of the first of Peter’s letters and examine his message.

In a homily this morning, Bishop Newman pointed out that Jesus’ apostles awaited his second coming as a physical one.  They most likely expected Jesus to return in the same way he had returned after his resurrection.  This second coming did not take place in their lifetimes; scholars will tell us that this second coming takes place in the life of each of us.  This thinking makes Peter’s words to us today all the more immediate:  We wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God . . .  He suggests to us today that we implement faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, devotion, and mutual love in order that we might persevere without becoming discouraged.  The Bishop reminded us that we might re-read these words when we are exhausted from waiting, when apostolic witnessing has taken its toll, when prophecy seems a dim memory.

Peter tells us that his words are altogether reliable.  We know the persistence he mustered in order to continue telling Christ’s story against so much disbelief and opposition.  He denied the Christ three times on the night of Jesus’ crucifixion; after the resurrection he thrice affirmed that Jesus was the Son of the Living God . . . and for this loyalty he was asked to feed God’s lambs, to feed God’s sheep.  So when we are asked – as Peter was asked – Do you truly love me? how will we respond to this gift?  And when we are asked – as Peter was asked – Feed my sheep, how will we answer this call?  Are we willing to endure?  Are we able to remain?  Can we put ourselves at risk?  Will we extend ourselves to others?

We have received a great gift, the gift of life.  We have received a great call, the call to eternal life.  Let us consider what we have before us.  Let us look to the example of Peter.  And let us be genuine and authentic in our reply.

A re-posted favorite from Easter Week 2013. First written on June 1, 2010. Edited and posted today as a Favorite.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ladder-in-the-darkness[1]2 Peter 2:5

Making Every Effort

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.  

Peter shows a stairway we might climb as we grow in our understanding of how we might live according to The Law of Love Christ opens for us.  He begins with the concept of faith, a gift given by God that empowers us to believe that which we cannot see or hear or touch or smell but which we have every reason to believe.  When we are weary and our faith flags, we bolster belief with virtue, or good and moral behavior.  When we feel tempted to toss all morality to the winds we strengthen ourselves by studying the Word and gaining knowledge.  When this knowledge is not enough to encourage us we must control our urge to throw spiritual tantrums like those who are just beginning their journey.  We reinforce our dwindling self-control by enduring, by running the race to the end.  We boost endurance by remaining loyal to God no matter our circumstances.  This devotion may also need strengthening and if this is so . . . we turn to one for shared sustenance, for mutual affection.  And when this is not enough . . . we turn to God for Christ’s endless, limitless and eternal gift of love.

God says: Peter has shown you a ladder you might climb, yet I know that for many of you this work is too arduous.  So do not worry, my little ones.  If you are too weak I will carry you.  If you are too sad I will bring you joy.  If you are too alone I will send you a companion.  If you are too frightened I will calm your personal storm.  Make every effort as best you can.  Call on me.  My hands and feet, arms and legs will do the rest.  Peter offers you his own ladder.  Put your step on the first rung and bolster your faith.

Click on the links to find definitions of these steps in Peter’s ladder and reflect on how these rungs lead us up and out of darkness.

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